THE HEEL THAT FITS

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THE HEEL THAT FITS

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Will not quit. Headquartered at former Castro Street shoe store down the block from martyred Harvey Milk’s former camera store testifies to straight San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu campaign priority to compete for LGBT votes against gay Supervisor David Campos. Chiu’s top issues – affordability in SF, late buses, schools nationally ranked 49th in funding…For his 17th State Assembly seat (east side) run, Chiu unveiled names iconic of his positions and potential winning constituencies in the district: Warren Mar (labor and Asian Pacific American) crediting Chiu the most for California Pacific Medical Center rebuild and saving nursing jobs at St. Luke’s…Former supervisor candidate Debra Walker (artist/progressive LGBT) focused on displacement of arts and non-profit community, SF Democratic County Central Committee member Leah Pimentel (Bayview, African American mom and environmentalist) touting Chiu’s record on parenting issues like flexible work schedules and getting on MUNI buses with kids…
WHO REALLY SAVED CPMC: Although Warren Mar lauded Chiu for saving nursing jobs at St. Luke’s, Campos has lined up endorsement of the powerful California Nurses Association. Another influential union, the California Teachers Association is endorsing the former school board member…
Ro Khanna's foe is not only Rep. Mike Honda (Courtesy of Khanna campaign)

Ro Khanna. Courtesy of Khanna campaign

SPOILER ALERT: Could statewide Indian American candidates energize 140,000 California Indian American voters and impact local races? They could affect, for example, the nationally watched Democratic race between Japanese American incumbent Mike Honda and Indian American challenger Ro Khanna in the 17th District congressional race around Silicon Valley. The entry of Republican Indian American and Stanford Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology Vanila Singh made the race more intriguing as she, Honda and Khanna potentially could unify or divide the 15,000 as a bloc…
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (left) endorses Rep. Mike Honda for re-election. (Courtesy of Honda campaign)

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (left) endorses Rep. Mike Honda for re-election. (Courtesy of Honda campaign)

 
CONTROL THE MAN: Oakland Mayor Jean Quan having an interim police chief isn’t a bad idea. She’s up for election and Chief Sean Whent’s permanent appointment could depend on her winning a second term. So he could “campaign” for his job while she campaigns for her mayoralty. Both have an incentive to work together on implementing and getting results from Quan’s anti-crime “jobs stop bullets” and getting neighbors to support neighborhood schools anti-crime strategy before this November. If they’re not in sync, they’re finished. And besides, Whent leaving or getting tossed out would add to the perceived instability of Quan’s crime fighting efforts that have been undermined by the departure of three chiefs and a compliance monitor fired by federal judge Thelton Henderson…San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom made Heather Fong interim chief before she got the job permanently after over two months in 2004…
Heather Fong

Heather Fong

 
NEEL & KAMALA STATEWIDE: A rising statewide tide can lift local boats. Affecting the Honda-Khanna-Singh race is the statewide GOP gubernatorial candidacy of Neel Kashkari, another former Assistant Secretary (Treasury Department under George W. Bush) like Khanna (Commerce under Barack Obama). Kashkari, the former Goldman Sachs investment banker who administered the controversial TARP under Goldman Sachs alumni and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, will be running to unseat incumbent Governor Jerry Brown this year and could boost Indian American turnout statewide. Democrat and Attorney General Kamala Harris, also of Indian American heritage thru her mom, could stir turnout. Although unchallenged for re-election, she has the incentive to perform well in a 2018 trial heat for Governor succeeding Brown (assuming he and she win re-election in 2014). Harris – who’s taken down the big banks – might have Goldman Sachs and Kashkari in her crosshairs given that Californians feel miffed that the feds have not held Wall Street accountable for the Great Recession….
 
MARGIN OF VICTORY: The 15,000 Indian American votes could make a difference in a close race as Honda, Khanna and Singh look to place first or second in June to qualify for the November runoff election (See “Potstickers” on 4/4/13 at tinyurl.com/d7p8u9r). A second place Singh finish in June would anoint Democrat Khanna or Honda in the Democrat-leaning seat for November. Honda’s a good bet to finish in the top two. So, the battle is between Khanna and Singh to face Honda in Nov….
David Chiu

David Chiu

 
MAN’S BEST FRIEND: When it comes to civil rights and restoring HIV cuts, Castro/Upper Market District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener (liberal-moderate LGBT) endorses David Chiu. “I would never support anyone for this Assembly seat of all Assembly seats unless I was absolutely confident that person was fighting like a dog for the LGBT community in Sacramento.” Dawg? That’s inspiration for Chiu to change his spots from his 2011 mayoral self-effacing “Chiu-bacca” – a play on the Star Wars Wookiee – to Chiu-hua-hua. Chiu did promise a “fun” campaign…
FOR REAL OR ROADKILL: With the GOP looking to keep the House, Singh – who has drawn Indian American PAC interest – will have to demonstrate she’s a serious GOP candidate in a projected Democratic seat. Honda’s last Republican road kill was Evelyn Li, who drew under 26% percent of the vote in 2012.  Republicans, if they perceive Singh as a serious candidate, will inject resources into her race. Singh’s first test – can she draw South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to campaign and fundraise. Haley, one of two Indian American Governors (Bobby Jindal leads Louisiana) in the US, will keynote the annual Republican Lincoln-Reagan dinner for the SF Republican Party onMarch 20 in Julia Morgan Ballroom at political campaign management pioneer Clint Reilly’s Merchant Exchange Building in San Francisco. A Haley foray followed by national GOP backing for Singh could help split the District 17’s 15,000 Indian American votes, who could be leaning Democrat. A split hurts Singh and Khanna while helping Honda who could benefit from overwhelming APA (excluding Indian Americans) turnout driven by statewide Democratic races of Betty Yee for Controller, Leland Yee for Secretary of State, John Chiang for Treasurer, Fiona Ma for Board of Equalization as well as Harris and Kashkari. The Yees, Ma, and Chiang will be spending time in the Bay Area raising money, mobilizing voters. Statewide APA voter surges could lift Honda’s own boat…
SQUATTING FOR TREASURER: Unopposed for Treasurer, Controller Chiang’s March 12 fundraiser with SF Mayor Ed Lee, attorney Dale MinamiMcDonald’s kingpins CC and Regina Yin, mayoral aide Francis Tsang, tech entrepreneur Hsing Kung, state commissioner Phong La and Asian Americans for Good Government will end up being an early victory party and usher the resurrection of Squat and Gobble at SF’s One West Portal (the corner burned down in Oct. 2012).  Like Attorney General Kamala Harris, Chiang’s free to test his own gubernatorial muscles for a trial run for 2018. The APA talent pool for governor gets deeper and deeper…
 
DON’T YOU SIDEBALL ME: Chronicle’s Beth Spotswood blogged Feb. 17 about being given “extreme side eyes” near the Lunar New Year parade reviewing stand in Chinatown as she vainly scouted for verbal shots against local pols from Chinese Chamber of Commerce advisor Rose Pak (See “Potstickers” 2/13/14). As Spotswood skulked about and expressed disappointment about Auntie Rose’s tameness, she nicknamed one parade observer as a scowling “Side Eyes” allegedly close to Pak…While fortunately not tagging anyone as an incendiary “slant eye” or “round eye,” she had to be referring to a fish …
 
MISS ME?: Email Samson Wong at potsticker@prodigy.net and  follow him at Twitter @SFPotstickers…

About the Author

Veteran columnist has appeared in up to 450,000 households weekly in the SF Independent, Examiner (2000-04) and AsianWeek since 1996. As Editor-in-Chief (2003-07), AsianWeek and Samson received wide recognition from the California Legislature, New American Media, League of Women Voters, GLAAD, Organization of Chinese Americans, SPUR and APA civic groups. Thru the SF Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections, SF Elections Task Force and Chinese American Voters Education Committee, Wong helped boost APA influence from 25,000 in the 1980s to over 50,000 voters by the early 1990s.